Tiffany Smith of Deltona, Florida, is facing felony child neglect charges after officials said she overdosed on heroin while traveling with her three children.
Her 12-year-old daughter called 911 after Smith passed out along Interstate 4 on October 31, 2019. Two younger children, ages 7 and 1, were also in the minivan at the time.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s department shared that Smith was revived and taken to a hospital. The three children were not injured and were placed in the care of another relative.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Tiffany Smith’s Daughter: ‘My Mom Won’t Wake Up’
The Volusia Sheriff’s office shared the 911 call made by Tiffany Smith’s daughter while the vehicle was sitting on the side of the interstate. The audio is embedded above.
In the clip, you can hear Smith’s daughter yelling “Mom!” repeatedly as the dispatcher answers the call. She tells the dispatcher, “My mom won’t wake up and we’re on I-4 in the car.” She sounds like she’s crying as the dispatcher tries to narrow in on their exact location.
The child is heard explaining, “We’re in the grass and we’re close to a ditch.” She tells him that she doesn’t know how to put the car into park. The clip then begins to show video as an officer arrived at the scene. The young girl tells the dispatcher that she sees the officer; he instructs her to stay on the line.
The video then skips ahead. The officers are seen discussing the fact that Tiffany Smith needed to be taken to a hospital. One of them notes that Smith had awoken by that point. The officers opened the back door of the ambulance and asked Smith who could pick up the children. She asks for her phone so that she could call someone.
2. Tiffany Smith Admitted Taking the Heroin For Back Pain Because She Didn’t Have Any Painkillers
Paramedics revived Tiffany Smith with a dose of Narcan on the scene. She admitted to Volusia County deputies that she took heroin in order to ease her back pain. She felt sick, pulled the vehicle over and lost consciousness.
In the video embedded in the first section, you can hear Smith make the confession. She explained that she took heroin because she didn’t have any pain pills with her.
She and the children were traveling to South Carolina to visit her sister at the time of the incident. Smith told a deputy that she was worried about the pain because she had a five-hour drive ahead of her.
3. The Children’s Grandmother Picked Them Up & Two Dogs In the Car Were Placed With Animal Control Officers
The Volusia Sheriff’s office shared in the news release that the three children were being cared for by their grandmother. Deputies said the 12-year-old girl and her younger brothers were not hurt.
The family was traveling with two dogs at the time. The pets were taken in by Volusia County Animal Control officers.
4. Smith Faces Three Felony Charges of Child Neglect
Tiffany Smith was taken to the AdventHealth Fish Memorial hospital in Orange City, Florida, for treatment. As of November 4, she was not listed as an inmate with Volusia County Corrections.
The Volusia County Circuit Court website states that bail was set at $7,500. But Smith appears to have been released without having to be booked into jail through the Pretrial Supervision program called PTS.
Smith is facing three charges of child neglect, which is a third-degree felony. A hearing was scheduled for November 21.
5. Tiffany Smith Was Found Guilty Of Stealing From Her Employer in 2017
Tiffany Smith was previously arrested in June of 2017 on a grand theft charge. According to the affidavit, available to the public on the Volusia County Clerk of Circuit Court website, Smith was accused of stealing from the Walmart where she worked. The store was located in Orange City, Florida.
The arrest report states that a loss prevention worker had noticed that one of the cash registers was short by $300. Surveillance footage reportedly showed Smith loading a Visa gift card without paying for it. The report states that “at no time did Smith make an attempt to pay for the card.”
The affidavit states that Smith confessed to the theft. She told the police that she had “made a mistake” and that she was sorry for her actions. You can see the full arrest report here.
Court records show that the original charge of grand theft, which is a felony, was reduced to petit theft, which is a misdemeanor. Smith reached a plea deal with prosecutors and waived her right to an attorney. The records indicate that Smith was sentenced to probation.